Ancient culture and medieval architecture
Rhodes has been inhabited since the Stone Age and retains a wealth of authenticity to inspire history buffs. In modern history the island was inhabited by Turks and Italians before being claimed by Greece after the Second World War. Excavations conducted in Rhodes have brought to light a number of important monuments from the three most significant cities on the island – Lindos, Kamiros and Ialysos.
Thousands of years ago, Lindos was the main trading port on the island and the Lindos Acropolis shows just how much wealth and activity was present in the area at that time. These archaeological remains include a temple, theatre and castle. There is a climb to reach the ruins so some people may struggle, and remember to bring your hat because it’s difficult to find shade.
The City of Rhodes overtook Lindos as the main trade and people hub thousands of years ago and remains the cultural centre of the island. The Old Town is the oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe and you can’t help but be impressed by the medieval buildings, fountains and Byzantine and Gothic churches. Lose yourself in streets with no name and travel back in time as you traverse the old medieval walls. There is plenty to explore in the nearer part of the city too, including Archbishops Palace, the Annunciation Church and the Central Post Office. Two bronze deer welcome travellers off the boats in the Mandraki Harbour – a modern icon of the city.
There are plenty of foodie delights in Rhodes. Traditional tavernas can be found in every town along with a range of international options including Italian, Indian and British. Authentic Rhodes cuisine has its roots in the ancient Dorian culture, with records of fish soup as the staple of choice. By medieval times meals were using the local produce of the land – Mediterranean vegetables and meat reared on the mountains. Olive oil, thyme and oregano are staples of many dishes.
Greeks enjoy long mealtimes and share the British tradition of a family Sunday lunch. If you want to enjoy local delicacies look out for olives, feta, gyros wraps, soutzoukakia meatballs, moussaka and meat pie, washed down with a local wine or good, old ouzo.
Nightlife in Rhodes centres around Rhodes Town, Faliraki and Lindos, but Faliraki is probably the place to be if you prefer parties. All the fun can be found on two main streets in Faliraki – Club Street and Bar Street. Try Ziggy’s for cocktails before heading to Liquid, DC Club or Yolo Club.
The picturesque village of Lindos offers a sophisticated yet lively alternative to the 18 to 30 year olds’ holiday. Lindos By Night has a roof garden bar with beautiful views towards the old city ruins, while Amphitheatre Boutique Club is an open-air club where 2000 revellers can dance through until morning. Though that’s nothing compared to the iconic Paradiso Beach Club, which morphs into a small town overnight, hosting more than 4000 people.
Last but definitely not least is Rhodes Town itself, home to romantic piano bars and wild hidden nightclubs. If you’re looking for a comfy bar with proper beer, head to the Captain Hook bar – it helps if you’re also a fan of rock music. Otherwise the Cellar of Knights is a stunning Greek wine bar, tucked into the medieval architecture on Ippokratus Square. Fancy a cocktail? Try B-Sides Cocktails for a range of delicious drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.
Natural sand and pebble beaches
Rhodes’ coastline is littered with natural sand and pebble beaches, some of the most beautiful in all of Greece. You can stretch out on warm, yellow sand with the wide blue ocean ahead and pine-forested mountains behind. The island is a popular spot for watersports, with a natural breeze that heads off the high summer heat. With Blue Flag beaches you can expect clean, safe shores to relax with the whole family and enjoy a swim.
The seemingly endless Ialyssos beach, just outside of Rhodes Town, is home to several large hotel complexes and nightclubs. Despite this, the beach is only busy for a couple of months in the summer and thanks to the beach’s long length, there’s lots of room for everyone to stretch out. It has all the amenities you need and is even home to international windsurfing tournaments. On the opposite side of Rhodes Town lays Faliraki with its wide golden beach. If you can get there in the morning before the night ravers wake up, you’ll find a half-empty shore.
Saint Paul’s Bay, Ladiko and Kalithea are often listed as the best beaches in Rhodes, while Kolymbia is a pleasant seaside resort between Rhodes Town and Lindos – ideal for families looking for a quieter destination to enjoy All Inclusive holidays to Rhodes from. The pebble beach at Ixia and southern beach of Prassonissi are both popular with windsurfers and kite surfers.